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Sunday, September 17, 2006

Willie Horton

Eligible in 1986.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 17, 2006 at 07:08 PM | 29 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 17, 2006 at 07:13 PM (#2179651)
Let's please keep this about the baseball player, guys. I don't want this to become a discussion about whether Al Gore and/or Bush the Elder was wrong for bringing up the other Horton's name almost 20 years ago. :-)
   2. sunnyday2 Posted: September 17, 2006 at 07:39 PM (#2179695)
I was shocked to hear that the Tigers have retired Horton's number. I guess he was a great guy. (Al Gore? I think you mean Lee Atwater. And Dukakis was the other candidate. Just in the interest of historical accuracy concerning a topic we're not gonna talk about ;-)
   3. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 17, 2006 at 07:48 PM (#2179716)
(Al Gore? I think you mean Lee Atwater. And Dukakis was the other candidate. Just in the interest of historical accuracy concerning a topic we're not gonna talk about ;-)

:-)

Marc, believe it or not, I'm a political junkie outside of the HoM. I spend time posting in political forums almost as much as I do here.

Both sides of the aisle have pointed their fingers at the other side when it comes to the criminal Horton for '88 (Gore in the primary and Bush #1/Atwater in the general election). I wanted to nip in the bud with post #1 by acknowledging both positions, but...
   4. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 17, 2006 at 07:51 PM (#2179721)
I was shocked to hear that the Tigers have retired Horton's number. I guess he was a great guy.

I don't remember any negative stories about him. He did have a long and productive career for the Tigers, so I'm not surprised by his selection. Besides, if Ed Kranepool is a Met HOFer, Horton is inner-circle in Detroit. :-D
   5. vortex of dissipation Posted: September 17, 2006 at 08:02 PM (#2179746)
4. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 17, 2006 at 03:51 PM (#2179721)

I was shocked to hear that the Tigers have retired Horton's number. I guess he was a great guy.

I don't remember any negative stories about him. He did have a long and productive career for the Tigers, so I'm not surprised by his selection. Besides, if Ed Kranepool is a Met HOFer, Horton is inner-circle in Detroit. :-D


Horton was also a Detroit native, which could have been a factor. During the 1967 riots, he ventured out onto the streets in full uniform in an attempt to help restore the peace, a very brave and noble thing to do.

Retiring his uniform may also have been a way of mending fences by reaching out to the Black community in Detroit, which I believe has had a bit of rocky relationship with the Tigers over the years. (And by mentioning this, I am not saying that honor was undeserved, or trying to start a racial flame war. But I believe that factor, and hometown factor, were part of the reason why his number was retired).
   6. sunnyday2 Posted: September 17, 2006 at 08:03 PM (#2179749)
OPS+

Horton 119/165-37-33-32-32-25-16-16-8-4
Duffy 121/172-37-25-25-23-23-22-16-6
Easter 120/175-44-25-23-20-19-18-11-11-11-11-11-11-6-6-6

Closest comps I could find among contenders. Duffy was a better fielder, maybe, while Easter's record is somewhat speculative.

(I hadn't been aware that Gore brought it up. And that's my final answer ;-)
   7. rawagman Posted: September 17, 2006 at 08:11 PM (#2179770)
Duffy was a better fielder, maybe?!?!?
Horton was a DH for around 40% of his career games. In the other 60%, he should have been a DH.
   8. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 17, 2006 at 08:18 PM (#2179777)
Duffy was a better fielder, maybe?!?!?
Horton was a DH for around 40% of his career games. In the other 60%, he should have been a DH.


I have to agree. Duffy was a world-class fielder, while Horton could be said to be better than the Win Shares version of Manny Ramirez. :-)
   9. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 17, 2006 at 08:22 PM (#2179784)
(And by mentioning this, I am not saying that honor was undeserved, or trying to start a racial flame war. But I believe that factor, and hometown factor, were part of the reason why his number was retired).

Which is fine by me, AFAIAC. The team HOF's standards shouldn't be necessarily the same as the MLB HOF's, IMO.
   10. sunnyday2 Posted: September 17, 2006 at 08:34 PM (#2179804)
>Duffy was a better fielder, maybe

Gotcha ;-)
   11. Buddha Posted: September 17, 2006 at 08:43 PM (#2179809)
They gave Horton a statue because he was one of the owner's favorite players as well as because he was black and lived in the city.

Oh well. Big deal. No need to sugarcoat it. That being said, Willie was a good player. Not as good as Kaline, Cobb, Gehringer, Newhouser and Greenberg, but pretty good nonetheless.
   12. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 17, 2006 at 08:45 PM (#2179810)
Gotcha ;-)

I knew you had to be joking, Marc. :-) The difference between them as fielders is Bunyonesque.
   13. DavidFoss Posted: September 17, 2006 at 10:24 PM (#2179898)
Yeah, from what I hear, Horton is to the Tigers what Kent Hrbek was to the Twins. Not a HOF/HOM-er, but revered very highly and a no-brainer for something like a retired number.
   14. rico vanian Posted: September 18, 2006 at 05:53 PM (#2180720)
No need to confuse the issue with the OTHER Willie Horton and prison when you had bona fide jailbirds like Gates Brown and Ron LeFlore as Tiger Willie's teammates in the mid 70's! And Denny McClain preceding LeFlore.

That must have been some clubhouse!
   15. yest Posted: September 22, 2006 at 04:03 AM (#2184766)
I was shocked to hear that the Tigers have retired Horton's number.
ditto
Freehan, Cash, Trammell, Kell, Whiteker, Morris, Kuenn ext. would have been better choices
   16. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: September 22, 2006 at 04:35 AM (#2184775)
Well, I imagine Tram and Lou will get their #s retired. No one's worn them since they left. And Horton is more deserving than anyone on the list, both as a local native, VG player w the Tigers only, and most importantly, Detroit is a franchise that really needed to make gestures to its African-American fans. A no-brainer to me.
   17. vortex of dissipation Posted: September 22, 2006 at 04:57 AM (#2184779)
VG player w the Tigers only

Horton at one time held the Mariners' single-season home run record...
   18. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: September 22, 2006 at 05:44 AM (#2184790)
oops, i forgot that.
   19. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 22, 2006 at 01:48 PM (#2184874)
Matt Death <u>Spiral Stairs</u>

What's this another Pavement fan in our midst? (in addition to me and Brent --- or was it Daryn?)
   20. DL from MN Posted: September 22, 2006 at 05:40 PM (#2185146)
Pigs they tend to wiggle when they walk
   21. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 22, 2006 at 08:20 PM (#2185328)
DL,

My infrastructure's rotting. Hey, are you mixing drinks with a plastic-tipped cigar?
   22. vortex of dissipation Posted: September 22, 2006 at 08:25 PM (#2185335)
What's this another Pavement fan in our midst? (in addition to me and Brent --- or was it Daryn?)

I'd count, too!
   23. Sean Gilman Posted: September 23, 2006 at 04:50 AM (#2185733)
I need to sleep. Why won't you let me?
   24. Paul Wendt Posted: September 23, 2006 at 03:36 PM (#2185956)
The Tigers didn't win the pennant every year.
With Kaline, McAuliffe, Cash, and Freehan underrated (and Hiller too by 1967), someone must have been overrated.
   25. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 23, 2006 at 03:36 PM (#2185957)
Because you've got the line, you're on the inside, and you're right everytime.
   26. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 23, 2006 at 04:34 PM (#2185981)
The Tigers didn't win the pennant every year.
With Kaline, McAuliffe, Cash, and Freehan underrated (and Hiller too by 1967), someone must have been overrated.


Not necessarily overrated, Paul, but there were certainly weak spots: Jerry Lumpe, Don Wert, Chico Fernandez, Cesar Gutierrez, for example.
   27. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 23, 2006 at 04:39 PM (#2185983)
Besides, they did win more than they lost during that time, so they did have good teams overall.
   28. DavidFoss Posted: September 23, 2006 at 05:49 PM (#2186029)
The Tigers didn't win the pennant every year.
With Kaline, McAuliffe, Cash, and Freehan underrated (and Hiller too by 1967), someone must have been overrated.


Denny McLain? Mickey Lolich? They had a couple of good years each, but both of them also got racked up a lot of wins on run support as well.

I don't think its just the Tigers, there were a ton of non-inner-circle hitters from 1965-1976 who were underrated. I think its just part of the playing in a low-scoring era. Willie Horton had a 165 OPS+ in 1968. That's within a few points of the career highs for guys like David Ortiz, Vladimir Guerrero and A-Rod. But Horton only scored 65 runs and 85 RBI's due to the the low scoring context (even in a hitters park like Tiger Stadium).
   29. Jimmy Posted: September 01, 2013 at 02:09 AM (#4532245)
the tigers main problem has always been lack of pitching, as far as winning pennants.

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